Ark Ovrutski (bass) – 1963
Bob Belden – Tenor Sax, Arranger, b.1956, Evanston, IL
Bob Graettinger – Composer, Arranger, b.1923, Ontario, Canada, d.1957 in Las Angeles
Booker Telleferro Ervin II – Tenor Sax, b.1930 d.1970, Denison, TX – American jazz tenor saxophone player perhaps best known for his association with Charles Mingus, with whom he played and recorded from 1956 to 1962. During the 1960s he also led his own quartet and played with Randy Weston. His most highly regarded records are the nine he made for Prestige Records between 1963 and 1966: Exultation, The Freedom Book, The Song Book, The Blues Book, The Space Book, Setting The Pace, The Trance, Heavy!. Among his other influential recordings are That’s It (Candid), Tex Book Tenor (Blue Note), and The Book Cooks (Bethlehem). He was also a member of Horace Parlan’s quartet, with whom he recorded Up & Down (Blue Note), and Happy Frame of Mind (Blue Note). Ervin studied at Berklee College of Music after teaching himself tenor saxophone while in the United States Air Force.
Cathaly (vocals) – 1972
Chappy – Drums, Leader, b.1905 d.1973, Budapest, Hungary
Chris Griffin – Trumpet, b.1915 d.2005, Binghamton, NY
David Parlato – Bass, b.1945, Los Angeles, CA
David Sprunger (piano) – 1964
Eben Lichtman (piano) – 1983
Elizabeth Blake (vocals) – 1972
Ethel Waters – Vocal, b.1896 d.1977, Chester, Pennsylvania – She was an Oscar-nominated American blues vocalist and actress. She was the second African American to ever be nominated for an Academy Award. Waters frequently performed jazz, big band, gospel, and popular music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts. Her best-known recording was her version of the spiritual song “His Eye is on the Sparrow”. She was raised in a violent, impoverished Philadelphia ward. Even though she was eventually adopted by her grandmother, she never lived in the same place for more than 15 months. She began working as a hotel chambermaid for $4.75 a week, and at age 12, she married the first of three husbands. Her goal at that time was to become a maid/companion to a wealthy white woman; instead, she launched a show-business career at 17, when she entered a local talent contest on a dare. Waters obtained her first Harlem club job around 1919 at Edmond’s Cellar, a club that had a black patronage. Along with Fletcher Henderson, with the sponsorship of Black Swan Records, she toured with the Black Swan Dance Masters. Waters commented that Henderson tended to perform in a more classical style than she would prefer, often lacking “the damn-it-to-hell bass”. According to Waters, she influenced him to practice in a “real jazz” style. She recorded for Columbia Records in 1925; this recording was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998. During the 1920s, she performed and/or was recorded with the ensembles of Will Marion Cook, Lovie Austin. As her career continued, she evolved toward being a blues and Broadway singer performing with artists such as Duke Ellington. Billed as “Sweet Mama Stringbean” in honor of her tall, slender frame, Waters toured the black vaudeville circuit singing songs like ‘St. Louis Blues’.
She continued to hold on to her chambermaid job just in case her career came to a stop. Throughout her years as a singer, Waters fought against performing hot – i.e. sexually suggestive – songs, preferring instead to perform religious music. But the audiences preferred hot, and most of her performances during her formative years are of “hot” songs. Her popularity began to extend to white audiences with the recording of her signature tune ‘Dinah’. In 1927, she starred on Broadway in the musical revue ‘Africana’, which was with a cast of all African-American actors and actresses. She followed in quick succession with ‘Vaudeville’, ‘Blackbirds of 1930’ and ‘Rhapsody in Black’. Booked into the Cotton Club, a Harlem night spot catering to a rich white clientele, Waters caught the eye of Irving Berlin with her rendition of ‘Stormy Weather’. Berlin cast her in his 1933 musical revue As Thousands Cheer, supplying her with the hit tunes ‘Heat Wave’, ‘Harlem on My Mind’ (in which she parodied Josephine Baker) and the groundbreaking ‘Supper Time’. With As Thousands Cheer, a barrier was broken; for the first time in Broadway history, a black female entertainer was given equal billing with her white co-stars Marilyn Miller and Clifton Webb. After spending several years in touring shows, she returned to Broadway in 1939, making her dramatic, non-singing debut in ‘Mamba’s Daughters’.
The following year, she starred in the musical Cabin in the Sky, in which she introduced ‘Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe’ and ‘Taking a Chance on Love’. Her film career, which began with her performance of ‘Am I Blue?’ in the 1929 Warner Brothers musical On with the Show, was given a new boost with the 1943 movie version of Cabin in the Sky directed by Vincente Minnelli and co-starring Lena Horne, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson and Louis Armstrong.
Back in New York, Waters was offered the role of housekeeper Bernice Sadie Brown in Carson McCullers’ ‘The Member of the Wedding’, but she turned it down, insisting that her character be rewritten to include more religion.
She later accepted the role of mulatto Jeanne Crain’s worldly-wise grandmother in the 1949 film Pinky, a performance that earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, making her only the second black actress to garner such an accolade (Hattie McDaniel being the first for Gone With the Wind in 1939). The following year, she finally opened on Broadway in The Member of the Wedding with Julie Harris, her role at last rewritten to her specifications. By the time Waters appeared in the film version of The Member of the Wedding, she’d become a law unto herself: when director Fred Zinnemann attempted to instruct Waters in a minor bit of stage business, she reportedly raised her head to the skies and bellowed “God is my director!” In 1950, Waters starred in the TV series Beulah but quit after complaining that the scripts were portraying African-Americans as “degregading”. Waters worked only sporadically in following years. She died in 1977 at the age of 80. The cause of death was heart disease. Waters had been staying in a Chatsworth, California home of a young couple caring for her, and died at their home.
Illinois Jacquet – Tenor Sax, b.1922 d.2004, Broussard, LA – He is most famous for his solo on “Flying Home”. He is better known simply as Illinois Jacquet. Although he was a pioneer of the honking tenor sax that became a regular feature of jazz playing and a hallmark of rock and roll, he was a skilled and melodic improviser, both on up-tempo tunes and ballads. Jacquet was born to a Sioux mother and a Creole father in Broussard, Louisiana and moved to Houston, Texas as an infant. His father, Gilbert Jacquet, was a part-time band leader. As a child he performed in his father’s band, primarily on the alto saxophone. His older brother Russell played trumpet and his brother Linton played drums. At 15, Jacquet began playing with the Milton Larkin Orchestra, a Houston-area dance band. In 1939, he moved to Los Angeles, California where met Nat King Cole. Jacquet would sit in with the trio on occasion. In 1940, Cole introduced Jacquet to Lionel Hampton who had returned to California and was putting together a big band. Hampton wanted to hire Jacquet, but asked the young Jacquet to switch to tenor sax. In 1942, at age 19, Jacquet soloed on the Hampton Orchestra’s recording of “Flying Home”, one of the very first times a honking tenor sax was heard on record. The record became a hit. a jazz classic as well as one of the first rock and roll records. The song immediately became the climax for the live shows and Jacquet became exhausted from having to “bring down the house” every night. The solo was built to weave in and out of the arrangement and continued to be played by every saxophone player who followed Jacquet in the band, notably Arnett Cobb and Dexter Gordon, who achieved almost as much fame as Jacquet in playing it. It is one of the very few jazz solos to have been memorized and played very much the same way by everyone who played the song. He quit the Hampton band in 1943 and joined Cab Calloway’s Orchestra. Jacquet appeared with Cab Calloway’s band in Lena Horne’s movie Stormy Weather. In 1944 he returned to California and started a small band with his brother Russell and a young Charlie Mingus. It was at this time that he appeared in the Academy Award-nominated short film Jammin’ the Blues with Billie Holiday and Lester Young. He also appeared at the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concert. In 1946 he moved to New York City and joined the Count Basie orchestra, replacing Lester Young. Jacquet continued to perform (mostly in Europe) in small groups through the 1960s and 1970s. Jacquet led the Illinois Jacquet Big Band from 1981 until his death. Jacquet became the first jazz musician to be an artist-in-residence at Harvard University in 1983. He played “C-Jam Blues” with President Bill Clinton on the White House lawn during Clinton’s inaugural ball in 1993. His solos of the early and mid 1940s and his performances at the Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series, greatly influenced rhythm and blues and rock and roll saxophone style, but also continues to be heard in jazz. His honking and screeching emphasized the lower and higher registers of the tenor saxophone. Despite a superficial rawness, the style is still heard in skilled jazz players like Sonny Rollins, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Jimmy Forrest. He died of a heart attack at his home in New York City in 2004.
Jane Nossette Jarvis – 1915
John Payne Guerin – Drums, b.1939, d.2004, Hawaii
Johnny Williams – Saxophone, b.1936, Orangeburg, SC
Jonny Blu (vocals) – 1982
Julia Lee – Vocal, b.1902 d.1958, Boonville, Missouri She was a American blues musician who recorded with Capitol Records during the late 1940s. Notable session musicians who performed with Lee include Jay McShann, Vic Dickenson, Benny Carter, Red Norvo, and Red Nichols.
Julia Lee (piano) – 1902
Kiss & tell cabaret (vocals) – 1971
Les Tomkins – Writer, b.1930, London, England
Mark Josefsberg (vibes) – 1949
Melinda Hughes (vocals) – 1971
Ray Crane – Trumpet, b.1930 d.1994, Skegness, England
Reimer Von Essen – Clarinet, Leader, b.1940, Hamburg, Germany
Sherman Ferguson – Drums, b.1944, Philadelphia, PA
T Nathan Mickle (vocals) – 1988
Ted Nash – Tenor Sax, b.1922, Somerville, MA
Tim Sparks (guitar) – 1954
Toshiyuki Miyama – Clarinet, Leader, b.1921, Chiba, Japan
Vincent Gardner (trombone) – 1972
Walter Bell (flute) – 1959